The Old Schaefer Trail: Gore’s Secrets

Mountains hold secrets that can only be discovered through close exploration. That’s especially true for mountains as large as the Gore Massif, with its multiple peaks and valleys. After all, this is the place that Verplanck Colvin called “a very remarkable mountain.” It took him two attempts to reach the summit with his crew to survey the area.

The new normal seems to have exponentially increased the numbers of those hiking to the mountain summit and using the mountain’s hike and bike trails. Most visitors to the mountain in winter use the ski trails to zip down the corduroy slopes, hardly noticing the beauty of the frozen landscape along the way.

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Millbrook Mountain: The Nose Knows

Normally, on the weekend around my birthday, I’d be celebrating at the Climb to the Castle on the Whiteface Toll Road. The new normal has changed all that, but I still wanted to get outside.

Minnewaska view

Unfortunately, at the end of running the Slide-Cornell-Wittenberg loop in the Catskills in late August, I fell and broke my right wrist. Driving home that night wasn’t fun: I had to reach across and select fifth gear left-handed.

I’ve got a few more weeks with this miserable cast. Anything steep that requires three-point contact isn’t happening: I can’t put pressure on my wrist. So when I returned to Lake Minnewaska, I was looking for something I hadn’t been on before.

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The Dark Side on a Sunny Day

For years we’ve known that the High Peaks Chair — serving Gore Mountain’s Dark Side — would have to be replaced. Installed in the late 60s, the chair was over 50 years old.

Gore base area

We also knew the new chair was going to be more than a double. Doubles are harder to come by, and people generally like larger chairs. This year Gore is replacing both Lift 6 and Lift 3 at the same time. Lift 3, the Sunway Chair, used the same basic hardware as the Lift 6, the High Peaks Chair, and it’s a few years older.

I was at our place in the Adirondacks for a work weekend and leaves were at peak. It seemed like a good time to ride the quad to the Bear Mountain saddle and then hike to the top of Gore for a look around.

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